Aqua Creations


Milan 2013: Fuori Salone

Euroluce name in colours This is the fifth of a series of posts to be published this week that will build up into our Handy Guide to Euroluce 2013. This one looks at what is happening in Milan itself at the same time. Other posts look at who is in halls nine, eleven, thirteen and fifteen -- the main |Euroluce event at the Rho fairground. The last post in the series will pull all the content together into one document, with updates and corrections. This will then form the basis for our customary PDFs -- alphabetical, and by hall -- for you to use at the Fair. 

That last post in the series will remain up throughout the week of the Fair so that you can download the PDFs , or read it on your mobile thingy, at any time.


The Milan Furniture Fair “fringe” is becoming as important as the Fairs themselves. Even if manufacturers are showing at the Fair, many also have a separate presence in Milan, where they may display more experimental things (one year, Foscarini did a display of their lights all in white, for example) and where they hold their parties.

Basically, they will intend their presence outwith the Fair to be more cool, and sometimes their products will be displayed in more relevant spaces. Baccarat chandeliers will probably look better in the Palazzo Morando, than on their stand in a big trade fair hall, for example.

You can end up walking quite a long way (and the forecast is for rain throughout the week this year) and then find an empty shop with many examples of one design artfully displayed – i.e. a total waste of time. In other cases, the Milan presence is in their own permanent showrooms, often allowing one to see more of the collection than was on the stand. Then there are companies who only show in Milan, rather than at the fair ground, so you won’t see what they are doing unless you track them down.

There is no way this summary can be complete – it relies on what we have been told. Always pick up the guide published by Interni magazine (there are others), of which there will be free copies at every destination, and at hotels, &c. There will also be banners outside participating locations.

I have grouped these entries by the main locations. There is a miscellaneous section at the end.


Atelier Areti EDIT, La Pelota, Via Palermo 10

Innermost EDIT

Kalmar EDIT

EDIT's web site:


Lee Broom Spazio Pontaccio, Via Pontaccio 18

Nendo Spazio Pontaccio

Roll & Hill Spazio Pontaccio

Spazio Pontaccio's web site:

Foscarini Via Pontaccio 19

Memphis Spazio Understate, Viale Francesco Crispi 5/b, corner of Via Varese

In spite of my pointing out for years that the products of the great period of Memphis – of Ettore Sottsass, Michele De Lucchi, Matteo Thun &c. – are still available, no client has ever expressed any interest whatsoever. Maybe that’s good thing – maybe their work still shocks and appals. Time, and exposure in books, museums, &c. has not made them desirable – even acceptable – to the mainstream. To see if you are mainstream, go and see the finest pieces from this collection. Cocktails at 19:00 on Friday.

Produzione Privata Via Varese 15

Exceptional pieces (by no means just lighting) from the exceptional architect/designer/artist, Michele De Lucchi. Creating his “private production” out of his studio enables him to work with fine craftspeople and materials. He only ever show on the ground floor of the studio, so this is an essential destination.

Corso Como 10 Corso Como 10

One hardly needs an excuse to visit this concept store, but there is a compelling one anyway this year – an Angelo Mangiarotti retrospective. (He designed the iconic – and much copied – Giogali system for Vistosi, made up a glass hooks.)


This metro station is selected as the hub out from which runs the luxury shopping streets of Via Monte Napoleone, Via Della Spiga, &c. plus the lighting shopping street of Corso Monforte.

Aqua Creations Boutique Mimí, Via Gesù 3

Artemide showroom, Corso Monforte 19

Baccarat Palazzo Morando, Via Sant’Andrea 6,en,sc.html

Barovier & Toso showroom, Via Durini 5, also: Russki Dom, Palazzo Visconti, Via Cino del Duca 8

EOQ Entratalibera, Corso Independenza 16 (go to the end of Corso Monforte. Corso Independenza splits: Entratalibera is on the south side)

A young company producing excellent designs by Michael Young, using very high quality production facilities that normally make delicate aluminium pieces – e.g. fascias for technical equipment. Simple, elegant, clean – and colourful (Oh no. I shouldn’t have said colourful.... You’ll not go now.)

Flos showroom, Corso Monforte 9

Ingo Maurer Spazio Krizia, Via Manin 21 (a bit of a walk, round the park, but essential – you’ll be surprised, delighted...)

Lindsey Adelman Nilufar, Via della Spiga 32 www.lindseyadelman.comThe web site of Nilufar, an important destination in its own right, is

Luceplan showroom, Corso Monforte 7

Venini showroom, Via Monte Napoleone 9

ZONA TORTONA to avoid that terrible bridge, go to Metro Sant’Agostino (M2), cross the big road, and walk down the south side of the little park.

David Trubridge Superstudiopiu’

We have been thrilled to see the increasing levels of awareness and appreciation of David’s work. There is a higher proportion of pieces available in kit form, which dramatically reduces the shipping costs (bearing in mind that he is based in New Zealand). They are as environmentally sound as they look. There is also a playfulness, and an elegance, the sense of the sea.... Plus the virtues of wood – no wonder he is so popular in Scandinavia. By the way, his works are now in our LIGHT FINDER.

Superstudiopiu' web site:

Lasvit Via Gaspare Bugatti 15

Moooi Via Savona 56

1700 sq m housing their “special welcome”...

Contemporary Japanese Design Via Volhera 4

VENTURA LAMBRATE go to Metro Lambrate (M2), then cross the railway tracks.

Catellani & Smith Casa della Luce, Via Ventura 5


Woka Vienna Design Week, Via Privata Oslavia 17

Lobmeyr Vienna Design Week

Vienna Design Week in Milan web page:



Davide Groppi Chiostri dell’Umanitaria, Via S. Barnaba -- Metro Crocetta (M3) or trams 12, 23 or 27 to Vittoria (Palazzo Giustizia)

This will be a fabulous display of wonderful, minimal lights in a series of cloisters - -magical at dusk!  Have a look at t the “ichiostri” web site ( to see what I mean – not just a café but cloisters with gardens: “a location full of atmosphere of mystery”. Not just a lighting collection, but also a corner of Milan worth discovering.

Davide Groppi Via Medici 13 -- Metro Crocetta (M3) or trams 2, 3 or 14 to Torino Carrobbio

...and here they will be displaying lighting that is particularly suited to restaurants.

Prandina Triennale -- Metro Cadorna (M1, M2)

One of the best Italian lighting companies, at one of the most important design destinations in the world. The Triennale (recently remodelled internally by Michele De Lucchi) always has lots of interesting things happening during this design week – plus the bookshop and a great café with a large outside area by the park.

The Triennale's web site:


Tom Dixon MOST, Museo natzionale della Scienza e dalle Tecnologia, via Olona 6B -- Metro Sant’Ambrogio (M2)

Sander Mulder MOST

Brokis MOST

Brokis is a particularly interesting new brand from the Czech Republic: very high quality glass working and very good, clever, witty designs. New introductions of theirs will also be shown at the Fair on the stand of Misuraemme (hall 7, stands G09 and H16).

Spazio Rossana Orlandi Via Matteo Bandello 14/16 -- Metro Sant’Ambrogio (M2) or Conciliazione (M1)

Another essentuial venue where this year, amongst other things, Baroncelli will be showing Innovo, combining LEDs and bits of old chandeliers.

Windfall Palazzo Durini, Via Santa Maria Valle 2 -- Metro Missori (M3)

The single most important destination. Windfall creates the finest works in contemporary crystal in the world. You want to go there with your head to see what is possible. You want to go there with your heart to experience the thrill of crystal and light (plus beautiful people).


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Ayala Serfaty: the artist behind Aqua Creations

Ayala Serfaty Clear wall light from the Soma series This is the Clear wall light of 2011 from Ayala Serfaty's Soma series. It is 203cm x 80cm and made of glass rods with a polymer skin. It is lot 158  at Sotheby's New York Important 20th century Design sale on Saturday. The estimate is $40,000 to $60,000.

This is the culmination of a year in which four of her pieces were acquired for museums. They included three other Soma Light Sculptures:  Wild (2009) to the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York's Collection of Contemporary Art...

Ayala Serfaty Wild wall light metropolitan museum of art new york

...Andrea's Trust (2006), donated by Charles Bronfman to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston...

Andrea's Trust floor light by Ayala Serfaty Boston Museum of Fine Arts

...and Joy of Transition (2012) commissioned for their permanent collection by the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC...

Ayala Serfaty Joy of Transition Soma light sculpture

Ayala's new web site is here.

Better still, do watch this video. Ayala explains what she is doing, and how. You get to see the Joy of Transition before the polymer skin is applied. I'd like to see this version too (and she herself is wistful about its being obscured. What do you think?

Why does her work matter specifically to Fine Lighting News readers?

Because it reminds us of the many great artists and architects who have designed lights and that by buying a light (in this case) from Aqua Creations, you are acquiring a work by an artist who is also represented in the permanent collections of the world's greatest museums.

Ayala Serfaty with Andrea's Trust light sculpture


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Custom Aqua Creations in Melbourne


When thinking of a custom installation for a large space, always consider Aqua Creations. Their signature pieces are particularly suited to large spaces -- they understand large spaces. Here is an installation in Valencia, for example:

Aqua Creations in Valencia

Aqua creations Sunsa

They have the creative skills (thanks to the inspiration behind Aqua creations, Ayala Serfaty), they have the design and engineering skills (because they develop all their pieces themselves) and they have the skilled artisans to make bespoke lights (because everything they sell is handmade by their own team). But maybe most importantly, they relish the opportunity to work on bespoke installations (an enthusiasm not demonstrated by all producers...),  so they set about them in the right frame of mind.

Here is a case in point. The location is an office block in Melbourne (321 Exhibition Street). Aqua creations worked with their local partners ECC Lighting + Furniture (in whose Sydney showrooms, many years ago now, we first saw and were knocked out by, Aqua Creations lights).

You see in the image at the top of this post a Standby incorporated into the basket surround.  Here's a clearer image of a Standby:

Aqua Creations Standby pendant light

but a smaller one -- the one in Melbourne is Ø2400mm!

Further along the lobby, Aqua Creations created a square installation for a square basket...

Aqua Creations melbourne  ceiling lights 3

...OK, they're not baskets, but you can see what I mean -- I don't know what else to call them.

Aqua Creations ceiling light Melbourne 2

They look quite small from a distance!

Aqua Creations Melbourne 03



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The Mino Collection from Aqua Creations -- illuminated screens and room dividers

Mino floor light by Albi Serfaty with Benad Dar for Aqua Creations.01As usual, a stunning stand by Aqua Creations at Light+Building. We were delighted to see the new Mino Collection by Albi Serfaty (founder, with his wife Ayala, of Aqua Creations in 1994) with Benad Dar. This was partly because it marks a return to the pleated silk for which Aqua Creations are still best known.

And partly because such structures will be very useful. Yes, they are lights, but they also function as screens, as room divders. Yes, they look soft (you see pleated silk), but that silk is covering a strong vacuum-formed shell made from a specially developed polycarbonate.

The standard versions above are 160x115x25cm, 160x45x22cm and 104x70x22cm. But Albi was at pains to point out to us that they will do custom versions -- in fact, the full range of skills that they have in-house is available for new custom designs, as well as for special versions of their own designs. Take note!

There are many more colours available now. As befits these recessionary times, the new colours are more subdued. For example, here is a Nara:

Aqua Creations Nara Ayala Serfaty wall light silkThe full range of colours is (deep breath): coal, curry, dark, flame, gold, grass, orange, red, redwood, rust, sand, shell, silver, smoke, stone.see below for what they look like. There are two images of each. The upper one is of the silk with the light off, and the one below is the silk with the light on. Remember that the lamps are all "low energy" -- fluorescents.

Aqua Creations silk colours 1of 3Aqua creations silk colours 2 of 3

Aqua Creations silk colours 3 of 3

Oh, and it gets better still: you can also specify any two colours on one screen!

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HUGE Morning Glory from Aqua Creations

Aqua Creations Morning Glory with wooden base Aqua Creations' Morning Glory is wonderfully large and imposing, at 212cm high (and this one is a bit higher because it is on an custom wooden base). It is their glow, and their soft organic forms, that captivate people. Few think of what has to happen inside to make it possible.

So it is excellent that the making of a HUGE Morning Glory was recorded, allowing us to see its innards:

Inside  Aqua Creations' Morning Glory

Inside Aqua Creations' huge Morning Gloryplus a useful close-up of the exterior being worked, allowing the crushed silk cover to be seen clearly:

Aqua Creations Morning GloryThis custom version of the Morning Glory is 270cm high, compared to the standard 21cm. Here they are, side-by-side, so you can see what this means.

Aqua Creations standard and custom Morning Glory

Even the standard one is taller than I am!

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